Caracas, August 8, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Venezuelan Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami reported this Saturday night that a delegation of specialist Venezuelan firefighters and PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela) technicians departed to support in the extinguishing of a fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base in Cuba, where a large fire has been blazing since Friday night, leaving a significant number of injured and missing people.
“On the instruction of President Nicolás Maduro, a mission of specialist firefighters and technicians from PDVSA, one of the most trained in this type of incident, is taking off to the Republic of Cuba to support in the work of extinguishing the fire in Matanzas,” explained El Aissami.
“In addition to the mission of 35 firefighters specialized in highly complex operations, we have sent 20 tons of supplies (foam) and chemical powders to take care of this contingency. All our support and solidarity to revolutionary Cuba,” he said in his short, heartfelt speech. “In any circumstance, regardless of the size of the adversity, the sons and daughters of Chávez will always be at the side of Cuba, of its revolution, of its heroic history. Long live Fidel! Onwards President Díaz-Canel, we will triumph!”
Previously, President Nicolás Maduro expressed his solidarity with the people and government of Cuba in the face of the fire that is developing at the supertanker base in Matanzas. In a press release from the Cuban Ministry for Health published Sunday night, it was reported that the Cuban healthcare system has taken care of 122 citizens, of whom 24 remain hospitalized and 98 have already been discharged. 17 firefighters are missing after the explosion of the second fuel tank of the storage facility consisting of eight tanks.
“The whole of Venezuela stands in solidarity with Cuba and the people of Matanzas, in the face of the accident that occurred at the supertanker base,” wrote President Maduro on Twitter. “Receive the Bolivarian embrace, you are not alone. We are fully available to provide the necessary help. President Díaz-Canel, count on us.”
Likewise, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry expressed this Saturday, through a statement, its solidarity with the people and government of Cuba.
2/2 Además de la misión de 35 bomberos especializados en operaciones de alta complejidad, hemos enviado 20 toneladas de insumos (espuma) y polvos químicos para atender esta contingencia. TODO nuestro apoyo y nuestra solidaridad a la CUBA REVOLUCIONARIA!! VIVA CUBA🇨🇺 VENCEREMOS!! pic.twitter.com/69MliG8obR
— Tareck El Aissami (@TareckPSUV) August 7, 2022
Below is the full unofficial translation of the statement issued by Venezuela’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs:
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela expresses its deep regret to the brotherly people and government of the Republic of Cuba, due to the fire that has been taking place since last night at a super tanker base located in the city of Matanzas, northwest Cuba.
Faced with this terrible event, which brings with it an unfortunate balance of injured and missing persons, the Bolivarian Government extends its deepest condolences to the families and close friends of the victims. At the same time, it expresses its firm willingness to collaborate with the homeland of Martí and Fidel to face this event.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates, at a time of such deep sorrow, its unwavering solidarity with the brotherly people and government of the Republic of Cuba, which with admirable courage and fortitude face this unfortunate incident that mourns Cuban men and women.
Caracas, August 06, 2022
Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, the United States and the EU also expressed their willingness to collaborate in extinguishing the fire, which has left several people wounded.
Diaz-Canel expresses his gratitude
The president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, thanked the Venezuelan people and President Nicolás Maduro for sending a contingent of firefighters and experts from the PDVSA to the island to provide specialized technical support responding to the fire in Matanzas.
Emociona el entrañable mensaje del ministro @TareckPSUV, anunciando la salida para #Cuba de un grupo de bomberos y expertos de @PDVSA. Gracias al hermano @NicolásMaduro y al noble pueblo de #Venezuela por el apoyo. #FuerzaMatanzas https://t.co/04Qy2k2Z07
— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) August 7, 2022
Díaz-Canel expressed his gratitude through a message posted on his Twitter account: “The endearing message from Minister Tareck El Aissami is moving, which announced the departure of a group of firefighters and experts from PDVSA for Cuba. Thanks to brother Nicolás Maduro and the noble people of Venezuela for the support. #FuerzaMatanzas.”
Third tank explosion
On Sunday, a few minutes before midnight, social media accounts reported the explosion of the third fuel tank which the Cuban authorities and international emergency teams, mainly from Venezuela and Mexico, had been trying to prevent since Saturday.
Third fuel tank in the Matanzas fuel facility has just exploded as Cuban authorities were trying to prevent it to happen. Emergency response teams were evacuated. A foam pump is about to begin operations to control the fire. #FuerzaMatanzas https://t.co/wDR38o9sE1
— Orinoco Tribune (@OrinocoTribune) August 8, 2022
The Cuban news outlet, Cubadebate, reported around midnight Sunday, via its Twitter, account that the cap of the third tank had collapsed. The government had reported on this risk, and emergency response teams were evacuated. They have not yet provided information about possible casualties.
— Yo♥Cuba (@ICuba8) August 8, 2022
Meanwhile, social media accounts reported a very strong explosion that left a cloud similar to the one caused by the atomic bomb dropped by the US army over Hiroshima. The magnitude of the explosion raises concern about the possibilities of new casualties.
Cubadebate also reported that a foam pump was being set up and would soon begin operations, a new approach to controlling the complex fire on the island already heavily affected by the criminal US blockade. The Venezuelan delegation of firefighting experts, in Cuba since Saturday night, brought foam and chemical components to help control the fire.
Orinoco Tribune special by staff
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